- Use butter. If it isn’t butter, don’t bother. If you use margarine, I wash my hands of you. Really.
- Milk chocolate chunks – I like to buy the Pound Plus bar from Trader Joe’s, chop it up and use in ONE recipe. You can substitute semisweet if that’s what you prefer. I did have to use chocolate chips in some of the recipes out of necessity, meaning I didn’t have the TJ’s bar on hand when I made the dough,
- Chill the dough. No matter what. Trust me. Portion into dough balls and chill, covered, in the refrigerator or put directly in freezer bags and put in the freezer. To develop the flavors the most, chill for 24 hours in the fridge, then, if you have the patience of a saint, put in the freezer for overnight then bake.
- Substitute at least ¼ cup of the granulated sugar with turbinado or raw cane sugar. It gives an extra crunch in the chewy texture of your cookie and makes them a little different. I didn’t do this with all of the cookies I tried but for the ones I did, I liked those cookies much better.
- Use dark brown sugar, even if the recipe calls for light brown. Dark brown provides more caramelized brown sugar flavor.
- Don’t bake at less than 350 degrees. I often preheated the oven to 375 or even 400 degrees, put the cookies in at 375 for a few minutes then lowered the heat to 350 or 360. This helps the cookies set faster before they spread too much. But I don't recommend baking the whole time at 375 or 400 or else the chips start to burn before your cookies are done. Ask me how I know.
- Don’t overbake! Ever. Bake just until the edges are golden brown and the middles don’t look like raw melted dough. If the edges are already too brown and the middle still looks doughy, take them out anyway. Once they set, they’ll still be okay.
- Make the dough balls big, at least golf-ball size. This isn’t the time to be dainty.
- Don’t bake too many at once. The beauty of making dough balls and freezing them is you can bake only as many as you need when you need them.
That’s enough food for thought – haha – for now. First cookie recipe goes up tomorrow.